“People are Work!” Tell me about it.

Once upon a time, I used to hassle friends about not keeping in touch.. until I found myself in their shoes.

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In a time that is desperate to cater to your every need/want/demand on the spot and deliver electronically or right where you are, it’s too easy to live in a bubble.

Yes, I live in a bubble sometimes most of the time. I like that I get consumed by work because it takes my mind off a whole lot of things and causes me to use my time judiciously.

But at the end of the day, when I swipe down from the top of my phone screen, I see how the world and my circles have passed by in the how many hours I’ve been happily submerged in something that requires very little socialising effort from me.

At work, I don’t have to go out of my way much to socialise. The people I’d engage in the process of socialising would often come there to the office and even sit in my front, making conversation and social engagement effortless.

Now, if all my social engagements took this format, I’d be the most social person I know 😀! But that’s not the case 🙄. In fact, I not only have to drag my ass out of bed when I’d rather hog my bed all day, but also have to get my groggy self in the shower, brush for almost 30 minutes, dress up half awake, fully wake up to do my makeup, try to justify why I’m neglecting my bed for another person 🤦🏾‍♀️. The stress is just too much.

Now, let me tell you the real stress. This is my own stress, at least. I live in Lagos, Nigeria. I don’t drive, I don’t Uber myself everywhere because I don’t live inside Central Bank of Nigeria’s vault. I try as much as possible to not go out during the day (08:00 and 20:00) so I don’t get into the lethal Lagos sun.

Even though I go out really early to work and I beat the sun to getting to work, I end up around really stinky people (I have overly sensitive olfactory organs) and I have phobia for unsolicited body contact, which is practically inevitable in Nigerian public transport. I’m always irritated by the bus drivers stopping everywhere (including inside potholes) to pick up even ghost passengers.

I leave work when the sun has long gone to bed so heat isn’t usually my cup of tea when I’m going home. But you see, waiting sometimes forever at my first connecting bus stop for a bus to come, only for it to be so already cramped that I have to squeeze myself in the middle of potentially smelly people is a death wish in itself. Most of the time, going home means hopping on four or five vehicles to get from my office to my house.

When I get home? 🧠💀. Literally. I’m so knackered I’m more likely to fall asleep inside my plate of food, if I even remember to eat. Lagos commute is ever draining for me. Drains my energy and will to load me with tiredness that’s beyond me. I hardly ever remember to return calls when I commute or even messages 😩! I always get people telling me, “You just forgot me”, “You didn’t even check up on me”, “Hello stranger”. I sincerely believe that that tiredness that overtakes me when I get home is uncanny.

Sometimes, I chastise myself and sit up on my bed at night, telling myself I’m going to call this person now or send them a message just to let them know that they’re on my mind. I wake up the next morning to see I didn’t charge my phone through the night.. then regretfully realising that I didn’t go through with the previous night’s plan, hence forgetting to plug my phone in overnight 🤦🏾‍♀️.

Then it’s morning and my phone is sometimes going off the hook with messages from people and I’m just cringing at not being able to message them back to say, “Hey, I’m engaged rn. Leave a message.” But then, if I message every single one of them back — you know how engrossing chatting can get 🙄 — I’ll end up getting distracted from my deliverables for the day.

The sad part is, this is my reality and all that stress is part of my life. I recently saw a Twitter post shared on Instagram where someone attested that “Adult friendships are hard. Everyone is busy and life happens”. But he also dropped a wisdom nugget which I’ve mentally adopted for a while now: texting people when you’re thinking of them and how it goes a long way. Like I said, it’s still a “mental” process for me 🙊. I’m learning.

Unless you have special circumstances that don’t afford you the opportunity to say no to that stress, at the end of the day, it’s left to you 🤷🏾‍♀️. But the reality is that so long as the person or people you’re going through all of that social stress for is/are worth it, that should be enough peace for us busy folks 🌝. Don’t waste your precious time on those whodon’t actually matter.

What/Who is Ella, Emmanuella?

So I decided to “learn” about myself on Urban Dictionary..

While writing my last blog post, I don’t know who sent me to go and look up my name on Urban Dictionary 😩. Here are some screenshots:

The only thing inaccurate about his definition is the insecurity. And I don’t “make sure people are there for me” 🙄. I don’t expect people to be there for me, but I will be there for them regardless 😘☺️.

Oh, I don’t have green eyes. They’re as brown as these ones: 👀.

What is inaccurate about this one 🧐? Again, the insecurity. What is it with the Ella’s these people know and insecurities 🤔?

I don’t get angry easily 😕.

Kooky? 🙄 Really? Lord and only Lord and oh, wait, my lost diary sessions since my laptop crashed (😩) know the truth about that one 👀. Bizarre 🙄? Talks too much? More like laughs too much 😂😂.

By the way, aside from whatever anyone says your name means or connotes, you define you; not anyone or anything else, not some algorithm somewhere. Don’t let things, circumstances or people define your identity for you 🤗.

In the interim, please, gaan shehk your name on Urban Dictionary and let me know what it means according to pop culture 😂!

Manny & the Brain – 20.03.18

One of those internal conversations..

Gets into a maruwa (tricycle) at night, going home from work..

Brain: Manuella, stop laughing for no reason, like an idiot ☹️.
Me: Leave me alone 😂🙄.
Brain: You do realise that you’re the only passenger in the maruwa, no 😥? And it’s an open vehicle; anyone can see you laughing with no one beside you 😶.
Me: Fine 🙄.
Brain: Lord, help me out here, please 😓☹️.

Me: You know you luhhhhhhhhhh me 😻😂.
Brain: 😐😐.


I do have a lot of apologising to do, I know 🙈🙊. I’ve been MIA without notice and I haven’t put anything up in what now feels like forever 🙈.

I don’t know from where I got the idea that I need to have a full-bodied (intro, body and conclusion) and lengthy write-up before I publish a post 😕. Beause I have loads of this kind of posts just sitting around!

Anyhoo, I’ve got more crazies than I can contain, and I’d love to share them with you 😻 (no, I’m not really lovestruck. I was just caught up in the moment 👀).

So, what I’m saying is that I should be doing more of these kinds of random (unplanned) posts 🌝.


Watches the conductor sat beside me as he brushes his fingers past all the good 100 naira notes and hands me my change. One look at it and I hand it right back for him to change it. Me: O de wa owo to ti yani yakuya, o de gbe fun mi 🙄. O ti ri arindin 😒. (And he looked for money that was horrendously mutilated, and he gave it to me 🙄. He has seen a dunce 😒.)
Brain: 😂😂.
Me: It’s not funny o. Stop laughing 🙄.
Brain: 😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣.
Me: 🙄😐😂😂😂😂. Oh, Lord!

Ze End!

One Weird/ Typical/ Whatever Night Going Home..

What goes on in your mind when you’re just watching life go by?

What kind of blogpost title is that even 🙄?

Abeg! Na you sabi 😒! Let me start my tale.

So this was the state of my mind going home one night..

While the driver of the yellow bus (danfo) was waiting at a bus stop to see if luck would be on his side and passengers would board, I spotted one woman walking by on the sidewalk. She has a very nice bum bum. Come, I don’t say “bum bum”; she has a nice bum, a nice ass. I hope she’s pregnant; that tummy is too big to be an ordinary pot. She’s got a very nice bum tho. I like it.

Some minutes later, another woman was innocently walking on the side of the road. Ah, that woman has a nice bum. It’s very nice.

Since the driver was speeding like a demon (to my delight), I decided to help him check his back and his side. I should even help him check his back. That thing (his mirror) is not working.

I was writing and looked up, only to see a lot of people boarding the bus. These must be church people. Let me put my phone in one corner before they start to shine their eyes inside my phone. But I’m sitting by the window and that’s how those useless possessed animals roaming the road will come and snatch someone’s phone inside this hold up. Come sef, the one that is making loud phone call behind me and talking into my available ear 🙄. Nonsense and rubbish 😒. But I don’t want to put my earphone in that ear 😩.

The smell of shit snapped me out of my monologue. I looked up to see a LAWMA (waste management) truck on the other side of the road 😩. H’o my goodneizz! Come, why are there so many people on the road these days 🙄.

From the moment those church people boarded the bus, I kept turning to my side to look at the guy that sat beside me when they boarded. I hope he’s not looking at my phone. I mean, he shouldn’t be able to see what I’m writing unless he’s got microscopic eyes 😕. And why does he keep smiling? What’s so funny 😕. After the last look I took at him, Ewo! He’s not smiling! His mouth is just positioned like that, with his teeth trying to say hi. Shoo! Nawa o!

After praying for a red bus (you see, you’ve gotta love them if you’re not a fan of sluggishness) and waiting at my connecting bus stop for one for less than five minutes, a white (coaster) bus turned up. Ijora, Ijora! Eii! This one is going to Costain 😕. So I got on it. After all, it’s the same price as the red one. And it’s normally not slow.

I kept looking back and saw a red bus halting to a stop right behind the bus I was in. And the bus I was in was already starting to move ☹️. That’s how I’ll come down now, only for that red bus to be going to Yaba-Oyingbo 😕. Let me just stay on this one and hope it moves fast, instead of risking it and waiting for Lord knows how long before a Kpangroof-Onipanu-Ojuelegba-Stadium-Barrack-Costain one comes along ☹️.

So I stayed put and spent Lord knows how many minutes looking back and stretching my neck to see if that red bus was catching up yet. Good. I’m not even sure it was going to Costain. But this one (that I’m in) that is doing sme sme and driving as if the engine will die if he dares to move fast nko 😩. H’o my goodneizz!

Minutes and some little traffic later, I looked back again. The red bus wasn’t even in sight (it was far behind). Yass 💃🏾🙌🏾! But this one needs to move else we’ll sleep on the road today 😫.

A few minutes later..

Nooooooooooooooo 😫😭. I said it! That red bus will eventually pass us 😢. With the way these ones are moving as if they were told that their destiny is somewhere in between where they picked me up from and where they’re going 😒. Won ma ma rin b’igbin (they’ll be moving like snails) 😒. Nonsense and rubbish. That red bus had better be going to Yaba-Oyingbo 😫.

A few minutes to my destination’s bus stop, the bus stopped at a stop and was starting to spend more than a few seconds there. Let’s be going 😩😫! Which kind of alakoba is this one gan 🙄!

After Lord knows how math minutes in total of whimpering here and there, I got to my penultimate stop; the one from which I get to my house 😪.

Funny story, this is me every other day 🙊.

Alright my lovelies! See you again soon 😘! If you’re seeing this, thank you for reading 😁!

A very excited Manuella. xx

Returning to Naija – One Year On..

The weather has simply refused to accommodate my skin

It’s been an exact year since I returned to Naija from the UK. My body is still not used to the Nigerian heat 😐. Within minutes or a few feet of even hurriedly walking, I sweat as if I’d just finished a one-hour hellishly intensive gym session.

I carried hand fans (notice the plural there) around — and supplemented those with a face towel — in my first few months back. I used to religiously use the sunscreen spray I bought in surplus when I was coming back. This is a year later and I’m still carrying the same hand fan I used to carry. In fact, I’ve had to re-tack the straws around the poor thing. 

I’ve added another fan to my collection to replace the one that got lost one full-handed, scorching late afternoon in November 2016. I’m still thinking of buying another one of those foldable fans — I don’t know what they’re called.

When the power goes out, I mentally start panicking because I know my face is about to start melting, whether or not I have makeup on 😫. Sometimes, the power doesn’t even need to go out. The air con just needs to be running on a low current and my face will start oozing oil 😢. I spend the most part of my days at work and visibly in air con. But before noon, my face is so oily I look as if I’ve been in the kitchen all morning 🙄.

Travelling to and from work and everywhere in between and outside is an oil and sweat bath 😩. Before I get halfway to work, my forehead is so oily. I’m constantly and now unconsciously wiping away at my cheeks and nose, trying to dull the shine 😭!

I hate powders and padding my face with all sorts. My daily makeup routine doesn’t go beyond my signature eyebrows, my eyeliner and my mascara, which is even occasional. So to start worrying about layering my face all in the name of controlling the oilfest is a headache I wouldn’t even wish on my enemies 😫.

Interestingly though, foundation was a part of my signature look while I was in uni and I think that was the norm for about two years. The closest I had to an oily face was 7/8 pm, when I’d done my face up since 7 am. But here, 😩 h’o my goodneizz!! If my face doesn’t look like a greased frying pan, it’s not me 😢.

Itches? 🙋🏾 My body is just too familiar with the feeling 😩! When I’m out, or wherever even and power is out, ☹️ I could start itching if it feels stuffy. It’s like power outage is signal for my facial pores and neck pores to start oozing with liquid 😩. When I go around with my hand fan, even while standing on the road waiting for a bus, or on a bike, those around joke about my being hot, but they just don’t know! So I just laugh with them.

Do you know what makes all this particularly so for me? My body overheats, always. Literally. Those who know me and get into long hugs with me will tell you that my body is always literally hot. Burning. Strangers think I’m ill, those who know me say “this your warm body” 🙃. Imagine carrying a hot water bottle to your face in this Nigerian heat 😫!

That’s just the weather and the atmosphere and their incompatibility with my facial skin and my body.

The rest is story for another, no, other days 😏. 

Till you see my taillights again, 👋🏾!

Self-Discovery: Ever Heard of “The Spirit-Controlled Temperament”?

At some point in our lives, we make life-changing discoveries. This is mine.

If you were to wake me up and ask what my best book is, I’d say The Spirit-Controlled Temperament. It’s a life-changing book by Tim LaHaye. 

Wait o. All I’m doing here is sharing a bit of my journey of self discovery. 🙄 Don’t go and be looking for “So… what’s the moral of the story?”

Ok. So, what makes this book so fascinating? It helped me understand why I can come across as a grouch and sometimes embody a resentful, hard-driving, in short, Curtis Payne from House of Payne. It also made sense of why an unemotional and largely insensitive Curtis Payne can express so much concern for his loved ones, and be so concerned with social issues and others’ welfare. 

I don’t know if you like learning about yourself, but I do. Because even I surprise myself, at times. 

So, let’s dig in. 😁

Like I’ve said in one of my previous posts, I’m a choleric-melancholic, by nature. I’ll first break down the blend so you can understand why an undiluted combination of both can be lethal. 


Choleric

Oh, this is only in relation to me – for obvious reasons aka it’s my blog and I’m obviously using myself as a case study 🙄. I definitely won’t be telling you all my choleric and melancholy traits; just the ones that I find striking. 🙃

Ok. Stereotypically, a choleric is “hot, quick, active, practical, and strong-willed …. He is often self-sufficient and very independent. He tends to be decisive and opinionated, finding it easy to make decisions for himself as well as for others … By nature Cholerics have a serious emotional deficiency …. Choleric women may cry only when facing the most desperate circumstances.” 👀 (The Spirit-Filled Temperament, Tim LaHaye).

Here’s a screenshot:


🙊🤐

Now, my melancholy side.. 👀  


Melancholy

Tim LaHaye says the melancholy “… is perhaps the most dependable of all the temperaments, for his perfectionist tendencies do not permit him to be a shirker .…” In short, let me add a screenshot.

 
I’m not even going to bother to gloat 😏. 

Now, over to two key weaknesses 😩: “No one is more critical than the Melancholy. With unrealistic expectations of others, they cannot happily accept less than the very best.”


The Blend – ChlorMel

For those who don’t know, a temperament blend is the combination of an individual’s two temperaments; primary and secondary.

Hmmm.. The blend of my primary (choleric ) and my secondary (melancholy) is hypothetically the blackest sheep of the temperament blends. The “😧👎🏾”seem to be more than the “😀👍🏾” for the ChlorMels 😩. ChlorMels who are as natural and raw as them come… let me just grab one or more screenshots 🙈. #WeThankGodForTheHolySpirit!

 
I’m not apt to be a dictator 🙄. Hate? I don’t know about that 😕. Love? 🤷🏾😂 Oh, please! Yes, of course! 😁

 
👀🙈 Too. True.!

 

You see? It’s not all bad 😏. Tim actually says our strengths and weaknesses are kind of balanced on the scale… I don’t know how accurate that is 👀. 

Left to me, I would be unbothered about improving some of those weaknesses because they’re just mentally convenient for me. I would think to myself, Why would they think I’m too fussy? 🙄 Can’t they see that it could be better? On what planet does this arrangement even look attractive? 🙄.

Then there’s the part about speaking my mind, whether or not the other person wants to hear it. I would think sometimes, Why should I have to go through the stress of finding a nicer way to say that this design is ancient and obsolete and a waste of time and resources? Why can’t I just tell him that he looks like a frog when he smiles? 🙄

🙈🙈

What Next?

See, the way this book is written, the strengths are discussed before the weaknesses. I like to have my bad news/ reports first, then the good ones. But the book makes it clear that those weaknesses are part of our being; they don’t make us less human. 

I’ve learned to embrace my strengths and deal with my weaknesses 😏. The key to overcoming weaknesses is to first identify and acknowledge their existence, then find effective ways of doing something about them. They can be worked upon. I don’t know who you go to for help with things that are possibly beyond you, but I go to God. And so does Tim. 

The most fantastic feature about this book for me is that it gives me an insight into why and how I can retune my weaknesses into strengths with the help of the Holy Spirit. In all my years of ignorantly being indifferent about my choleric emotional deficiency, I would occasionally feel the need to find a solution. I didn’t find any. My complete solution isn’t here yet, though. And I don’t know if it will ever be complete. But I’m learning to tone down the self-sufficiency (Zechariah 4:6) and look to God to help me practise 1 Cor. 13 and Gal. 5:22-24 effectively 😌. 

I mean, it’s amazing that as a naturally hostile and resentful choleric, I’m incapable of holding a grudge or treating people accordingly, based on the wrongs I know they’ve done. Once a few hours have gone by, I find it impossible to program my attitude towards them to match their offence. 

Like I said though, I’m still in the testing stages; part of my revisions are to temper my melancholy “realism” with optimism so I don’t emote pessimism. More so, I’ve come to appreciate the relationships I have – oh, wait! I’m not laying down my life for any friend, as it says about melancholies in the screenshot up there 😐. As much as I have bitter complaints about life, I have no interest in sleeping in a coffin any time soon. Even my best friends already know that I love them 😂. 

Furthermore, learning to hold those choleric comments in is also a thing because, as a matter of fact, I don’t want someone else to say to me the things I sometimes say to others in my mind – except there’s an existent mutual agreement on 100% undiluted honesty (my way). I know words can be very hurtful so I try to isolate myself and keep quiet when I know my sarcasm or “razor-sharp, active tongue” – as Tim puts is – is about to go into overdrive. 

Life is interesting, though. What is stereotypically termed as your own temperament weakness may be a strength to someone else, and could cause them to appreciate that attribute in you, especially when you manifest it. One man’s meat is another man’s poison 😏. I’m not talking about a sarcastic or caustic tongue 🙄.

Anyhoo, I’m still a work in progress 😌. Got a long way to go with *some* missing fruits of the Spirit 😩. But God is faithful 😅. 

Until you see me again, ✌🏾 I ♥️ you! Or do I? 🤔🙄

Realist Much or Buzzkill?

Being a realist does not equate to being a pessimist.

I’m a logical thinker and a very realistic person, so much so that I’ve been told that I don’t know how to let people enjoy their daydreaming moments 😅.

Someone’s daydreaming loudly around me and I just unsolicitedly butt in and bring them back to earth. No, life doesn’t work that way. You can’t just up and leave and tour the country. You have to make sure that your bills are sorted for the while that you’d be gone. You have to research where you’re going, search for and book or reserve accommodation, calculate how much you’d need, so you can make enough money available. Yada, yada, yada. That’s me. Every single time. People tell me, You don’t know how to be spontaneous. You’re so pre-programmed! Sorry, not sorry 🙄. I like to be armed with information before I enter into something 😼. I don’t like to be stranded, physically, mentally, emotionally, however! Mind you, I know how to do spontaneous, just on my own terms. 😏

Now, I’m positive you’ve come across people drawing similarities between being realistic and being pessimistic. I’ve actually had a couple of people tell me outright that I was being pessimistic, only because I was just being practical. To be honest, I think it’s mostly the extreme idealists that believe realists are automatically pessimists. For some people, however, their realism borders on pessimism. Life is an arguably imbalanced mix of good and bad — and in my opinion — the bad weighing more than the good. That’s what is factored in, when a realist speaks. It’s the undiluted awareness of more bad than good that causes realists to sound pessimistic. We just tell it like it is. No watering down of the reality of things.

A pessimist, on the other hand, is often the one who just ignores all the good stones on the “good” scale and just sees “bad” all over the place. There’s always something bad in every situation. There’s always a hole in the rainbow that comes after every storm. The honey in the pot is always bad or infested with dead bees. The sun that comes after the rain will give you some serious sunburn. 🙄 It just never ends with them. Nothing good to say, ever. They, not the realists, are the buzzkills.

Here’s the thing: pessimists aka buzzkills are identifiable. If their input is never helpful and is ever depressing or discouraging, without providing an alternative, they’re a buzzkill, a pessimist. They shoot down every good idea, oh, and they never have any good ones either!

For some people, it’s actually their nature to be pessimistic. It’s obviously not a good trait, at least to those on the receiving end of the pessimist’s negativity. But, however pessimists make an effective journey to the border where they meet optimism, that is the goal.

Drawing a balance between pessimism and optimism is necessary, in my opinion. Being an extreme optimist is often equally identified with being an idealist. “This is how this should be. Things ought to run this way.” There’s nothing wrong with that line of thought. However, where it becomes a train of thought and it does not include facing the reality of “This is how this is. Things are run this way.“, you will have an idealist, who might even be an extreme optimist. The refusal or inability to balance ideals with the reality of things is an idealist’s woe.

In my experience, when a fair equilibrium between optimism and pessimism is reached, you realise that you have a balanced individual who knows how to dream and how to measure that dream against reality. You can’t have your head stuck in the clouds; reality will yank you out by the legs.

Until Friday, stay blessed! ✌🏾